VMD Service Standards

This document details the service standards of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)

What you can expect from us

We offer a professional service to everyone we work with and are committed to improving the service you receive.

We aim to:

  • get it right first time and on time – provide an efficient and high-quality service
  • provide the right information – make our information clear and accessible
  • work professionally and openly – see our self assessment on how we conform and comply with the Regulators’ Code

Our commitment to quality

The VMD is committed to being recognised worldwide as a centre of excellence for the provision of regulatory services and expertise for availability of safe and effective veterinary medicine.

We embed quality in all that we do.

We aim to exceed our published standards and targets, our customer expectations, and the requirements of our internal procedures and those of ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

We continually seek to improve our services in a proportionate and cost-effective way by:

  • Promoting quality, improving how we do things, reducing burden and creating an environment that encourages innovation.

  • Strengthening our partnerships to build broader collaborative relationships across the animal health and environment sectors.

  • Setting quality objectives in our business plan and reviewing our progress against them to ensure we continue to provide an excellent service.

  • Putting our people first, ensuring all staff feel that they belong at the VMD by championing wellbeing, respect, inclusion and empowerment and, growing our skills, knowledge and capability.

Enquiries and requests for information

We aim to:

  • respond to enquiries and complaints within 15 working days
  • reply to Freedom of Information requests within 20 working days

Sometimes we may need longer to respond, for example if you are asking for complex information or if we need to involve a third party. If we are unable to respond within these timescales, we will let you know.

We will consider requests for information in accordance with relevant provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2005, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Our regulatory work

Our published standards sets out our timelines and performance categories for a range of key activities which include marketing authorisation applications, the recording and assessment of pharmacovigilance data, and inspection work.

We aim to:

  • assist applicants by providing clear and accurate information on our authorisation procedures
  • process applications in accordance with our timetables for national applications and those set by the EU for European applications in respect of Northern Ireland
  • respond quickly to product defect reports
  • conduct inspections of sites producing or supplying veterinary medicines and issue reports in a timely manner

We publish details of our performance against the published standards monthly.

Confidentiality and privacy

We will comply with legal requirements that relate to the confidentiality of any data or information you supply to us.

Your privacy is important to us and protected in law through the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018, and the Law Enforcement Directive. Our Personal Information Charter and Privacy Notices tell you how we process your personal data.

Engagement and feedback

We make available a range of opportunities for you to talk to us and provide feedback, including in person, virtually, or through surveys.

We aim to:

  • hold an annual open event
  • provide stakeholder groups opportunity to regularly meet us
  • undertake regular surveys of users of our application related services
  • appropriately consult on proposed changes to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations
  • provide contact details within our guidance pages and service platforms

Complaints, commendations and appeals

We want you to tell us what you think so we can understand more about what’s important to you and how you want to work with us.

If you are pleased with our service or wish to thank an individual, tell us why at We circulate details of plaudits to our staff regularly, so we would be very pleased to hear from you.

If we don’t get it right tell us how we could do better. If you need help making a complaint or further clarification on our complaints procedure you can contact

To appeal against a decision we have made, or intend to make, see our appeals procedure.

What we expect from you

Whether face to face, over the phone or in correspondence, we will be professional and fair when working with you. In return we ask you to respect our staff. We won’t tolerate threatening, abusive, or violent behaviour.

Should this occur, VMD staff can choose to refuse to engage with you and refer your case to VMD senior management for handling.

Published 5 April 2013
Last updated 28 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated section on Personal Information

  2. First published.